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Manager's To Do

Manager’s To Do For Jewelers: January 2016



Week 1 / JAN. 3-8

Planning Bring your staff together for a post-holidays strategy session. Go over what worked, what didn’t, what your competitors did, what 2015 taught you. Then spin the session forward: Where do you want to be by the end of 2016? The secret to such sessions is to get specific with your targets: Do you want to expand your bridal clientele? Attract more female self-purchasers? Appeal to more Gen Y shoppers? Once you set such goals, you can determine merchandising and advertising strategies.

Finances File all co-op claims for holiday advertising. Put this off and you’ll risk forgetting it.

Customer Maintenance Call up your best customers to see how their holiday gift-giving went. As for the first-timers in December, follow up with a nice-to-meet you offer. This could be a gift certificate tied to Valentine’s Day.

Marketing/Operations January typically sees the coldest days of the year. Have a plan in place should the weather get so severe that it interrupts business. Could you, for example, offer a 2 percent discount for every inch of snow that falls if customers are willing to brave the conditions to come in? Or could you boost your online offerings?


Week 2 / JAN. 10-15

Inventory Don’t wait another day. Restock your important bread-and-butter pieces immediately. It will be Valentine’s Day before you know it.

Operations Create a yearlong calendar for your website listing store events, new designers and promotions. (If you can’t keep your website up to date, get someone else who can.) A calendar will also get you thinking about events. If you want to try a trunk show or two, you’ll need to start booking designers soon.

Finances Use any extra cash from the holidays to pay down vendors so that you’re in a better position this year to take advantage of trade terms. Be sure too to return any leftover memo goods. Your vendors may need them for the year’s first trade shows.

Staffing Evaluate staff: It’s easy to see your best and weakest performers immediately following your busiest month of the year; this is the time to make those changes.


Week 3 / JAN. 17-22

Display Select a prominent case as your Designer of the Month case. Make it a scheduled event (note it in your website calendar) and kick off the first day of each month with coffee or champagne for customers. Let designers know they will be featured and see if they can supply extra pieces for your collection.

Marketing Plan Valentine’s Day decor/dress themes. (How can you look romantic this holiday? Red velvet dresses for all staff? )

Advertising Work on your advertising plans for 2016. Start by breaking down your monthly spending based on monthly store sales of the last three or four years. (For example, if February accounts for 7 percent of your total sales for the year, allocate approximately 7 percent of your ad budget toward that month.) For a jeweler in a normal location, a working budget based on 5 to 8 percent of gross sales is typical.

Week 4 / JAN. 24-29

Data Go through the wish lists you collected in the months leading up to the holiday season. They can give you very useful insights into what specific customers might be looking to add to their jewelry wardrobes in 2016 or as gifts for other occasions. Add the notes to your POS database.


Training When was the last time you trained sales staff on the benefits of polishing jewelry in front of customers; before and after they present a piece of jewelry for a shopper’s personal inspection? Now’s the time.

Finances Need some “social proof” to nudge you toward better money behaviors. Join up for a personal-finance site like, which, for example, will let you know you’re paying 167 percent more for auto insurance than people like you typically do. Or, it might point out that if you ate out less — say, in line with the average in your area — you could save as much as $1,000 in six months.

This article originally appeared in the January 2016 edition of INSTORE.



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Manager's To Do

A Trick to Selling More Platinum, And Other Manager’s To-Do Items for September

And here are some great tips for infographics in your store.




Sep. 1-7

INVENTORY The economy may be slowing a tad, but the wealthy keep getting richer. That is allowing more people to trade up from the standard 1-carat diamond engagement ring. But to sell 2-, 3-, or 4-carat pieces, you need to have a few on hand, says David Brown of the Edge Retail Academy. Start experimenting with more expensive bridal sets.

MARKETING Conduct an advertising review. If it’s bridal sales you desire, put that shotgun away. Pick one or two advertising media, based on their reach and return on investment, and concentrate on them. That requires courage and perseverance, but it’s the surest way to break through the chatter and win that key top-of-mind presence in your local market that will deliver engagement ring sales.

Sep. 8-14

STAFF Few things are more important to staff than having the sense that their work matters. As bridal season approaches, make it a constant refrain in your strategy meetings: you’re helping people with one of the most important decisions of their life.

SHOWROOM “It’s remarkable,” says merchandising expert Sally Furrer, “how often diamond areas are underlit in stores.” Crank up the lights.

Sep. 15-21

TRAINING The rise of the bead phenomenon in the last decade caused many jewelers to cut back on diamond sales training. If that happened in your store, look to bring in a trainer who specializes in bridal goods. It’s a whole different skill set.

MARKETING Twitter’s search function, along with free applications like TweetDeck, can be great tools for market research and lead generation. Start monitoring your competitors’ brand names and hashtags to see what people are saying about them and you. Set keywords related to bridal sales in your market and don’t be afraid to follow up (unsolicited messages from strangers is a fact of life in the Twitter-sphere).

Sep. 22-28

SOCIAL Want to take your social media efforts to the next level while educating your clientele about bridal in a way they’ll remember? Think infographics. Whether charting the evolution of diamond cuts or providing tips on ring cleaning, infographics are a great shareable way to communicate your message. Try these free infographic websites:,,

SALES Want to sell more platinum? Highlight its staying power. Keep an old white-gold ring and an old platinum one behind the counter to show customers what happens to the two metals after a few years. One of platinum’s strengths is the durability of its white color, which won’t fade or change (like an enduring love, hint, hint) and will continue to complement a diamond, as opposed to white gold, which fades to yellow.

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Yarr! It’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day and More Important Dates for September

“I’ll be paying top dollar for whatever golden loot ye’ve got stashed in your little treasure chest.”




19 Many jewelers seem to have forgotten what a lucrative earner gold buying can be. Luckily, International Talk Like A Pirate Day is here to remind you. Yarr, have some fun with your advertising. “Yes, me hearties, Cap’n Jack Black Diamond has gone straight. I’ll be paying top dollar for your doubloons, old lockets or whatever golden loot ye’ve got stashed in your little treasure chests. Come see the Cap’n before the sharks get ye.”

01 On NATIONAL NO RHYME (NOR REASON) DAY, challenge your customers on social media to come up with words that can’t be rhymed. Three you can probably put to good use in your posts that day are “spirit,” “silver” and “woman.”

06 Today is FIGHT PROCRASTINATION DAY, and if you’re one of the many afflicted, try this trick: when jotting down a to-do item, keep rephrasing it until it involves the use of your limbs: “Pick up phone and call …”, “Open laptop and search for …”

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Remembering Woodstock, The Little One’s First Day in Kindergarten, and More Useful August Dates

You’re always busy, but this month, get things done.




19 Mark the 30th anniversary of the launch of Stephen Covey’s THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE by doing something in its spirit: keep a journal of everything you do, broken down into 30-minute increments. At the end of each workday, assign a value — 1, 2 or 3 (the lowest) — to your time, and at the end of the week, evaluate the results. They may well surprise you. Obviously you want to be spending at least half your time on No. 1s.

1 August is GET READY FOR KINDERGARTEN MONTH. On the first day of school, invite all new kindergarten moms to come in for mimosas and snacks. They can reward themselves for surviving this milestone.

4 The FIRST ELECTRIC LIGHTBULB sparked to life 140 years ago today. Mark the occasion with a brainstorming session with staff for fourth-quarter promotions.

15 Fifty years ago today, the promise of free music, a good time, and … umm … a pretty good shot at “getting lucky” drew 400,000 young people to WOODSTOCK, NY. To many folks, that’s much the same promise that jewelry makes (minus the music). Roll back the years with a store party.

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